I was supposed to be the first one there. I speak “the French” as my Aunt calls it, so I was supposed to meet the property manager and get us all checked in to the apartment we were staying in for our week in Paris. The cast of characters for this trip includes me, my mother, my brother, his partner, my aunt and my cousin. All flying in from different places to meet in Paris for a week.
My flight was supposed to be the first one in. It did not work out that way. The property manager left when I did not show up on time. He left the keys and a note on the table inside. My Aunt and cousin arrived first, didn’t see me, didn’t see the note so decided to go get some wine. Let me assure you, I don’t fault this decision in the slightest!
By the time everyone but me had arrived, it was clear I was not just out getting croissants (or more likely, wine). I was, at that moment, in Boston, trying to get on a flight that would take me to France. I was not supposed to be in Boston, that was not on my itinerary at all. I was supposed to fly from Charlotte to Philadelphia to Paris, but my flight to Philly got cancelled and the comedy of errors and mis-communications that finally dropped me in Boston was worthy of US Airways history. I did get to watch from the runway of the plane in Boston, my connecting flight to Paris taking off from another runway…that was fun.
Inside Boston’s airport I needed a drink like no one’s business. The cheery gate agent (raise your hand if you have ever seen a cheery gate agent) informed me that not only could she not book me through to Paris, but that all the bars in the airport were closed since it was after 11pm. Well, at least they will put me up in a decent hotel, right? The airline, with all the sympathy of the Gestapo, sent me on my merry way to a hotel (where the bar was also closed) and told me to try again in the morning to find a way to Paris.
The next day I found myself a standby passenger on the only flight from Boston to Paris. I sat on the floor by the gate and cried so much that I am sure people thought I was desolate over leaving. In fact I was terrified that I would be staying! I offered to max my credit card out to purchase a business class seat…anything that would ensure I got on that flight. In the end, I did get on the flight and I did get to Paris. My luggage, however did not…
Up next…how to score a free t-shirt at Charles de Gaulle!